Hahahahaha oh man am I so not a writer or even blogger at heart. WELL! While I'm sure this is a totally unsatisfactory conclusion to what has already been a rather unsatisfactory summary of my adventures abroad, whatever readership I may still have will just have to take it like I'm giving up and LIKE IT, dammit!
My year in Ireland was probably the best possible thing for me to do with my junior year. While transferring out of BU would've released me from the burden of dealing with one last year of BU-llshit, it wouldn't have improved me in quite the way that I think I've been improved in Ireland. This past year has made me more comfortable with my identity as one of the world's Adults. Part of this was certainly being able to drink legally, something that I think is under-emphasized in this country as truly a thing of maturation. It's not the actual act of drinking as all the restrictions put on an under-age person to ensure they can't get access to alcohol. When I got carded at a restaurant upon my return to the states I felt like they should've just handed me a booster seat. It's another ridiculous manifestation of America's fetish for adolescence. Go figure. But also, just living in my own room, having a schedule, making my own food, running my own life...it's really made me grow up. And being my own role model. I'm not quite sure what it was, but something about the people I met and made friends with helped me grow into my own person. I found myself dressing and speaking and doing things for myself, not for what others would think of me. And I've decided to banish awkwardness from my life. I've learned that situations are only as awkward as you make them, and I've learned that being comfortable with yourself makes everything and everyone around more comfortable, too.
Despite my above criticism of America, my time abroad has given me a whole new appreciation for my country. I believe I talked about that on this blog earlier, but it's being brought home to me once more during the Democratic National Convention going on right now in Denver. Say what you will about the whole thing being a staged wanking off of the media and the politicians, but dammit, some of it makes me tear up and I will not be ashamed for that. I know, underneath, that it's all a load of crap, but there is some kernel of truth to all this talk of the American dream. This really is a country where I feel anything is possible, and since I have big ideas, I can't imagine making my permanent home anywhere else. (And if Obama and Biden can't pull this one off I will be sobbing for weeks over re-runs of The West Wing, eating Ben & Jerry's AmeriCone Dream while wearing red, white and blue pajamas.) And I'd just like to point out, not that anyone who'd be reading this wouldn't've already realized this, but I hate that those who are willing to make changes in our country are forced to constantly re-affirm their patriotism, while those who are willing to ignore our problems and facilitate stagnation are automatically considered patriots. Progressives are patriotic; what's a greater declaration of the love of something than wanting it to be as close to perfect as possible?
So, to sum up, I loved Ireland and I plan to go back and visit many more times, and I hope to keep in touch with all of the amazing people I befriended there. But, at least so far, there's no where I've been that I'd rather live in than the good ol' U.S.A.
(Oh yeah, and Menorca was fun too, I guess.)